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Steampunk sequencer generates audio from Legos

Posted in lego by Conner Flynn on March 10th, 2010

Musician Yoshi Akai is an unorthodox musician. He dreams up ways to turn color into sound, and other unusual ways of producing music. Like this Lego Sequencer MR II, which uses three-dimensional Lego structures to emulate a three-channel, eight-step sequencer.

Each differently colored plastic brick produces a different sound and complex combinations (including tremolo and overdrive) are possible when the blocks are stacked. It works using resistors in every block, with parallel networks of resistors formed as the bricks pile up, equalling lower resistance, which means a higher frequency sound is generated.

iPhone-generated artwork hits the cover of The New Yorker

Posted in iPhone by Conner Flynn on May 25th, 2009

iPhone-generated artwork hits the cover of The New YorkerJorge Colombo’s cover for the June 1, 2009 issue of The New Yorker was created entirely in the Brushes iPhone app. Jorge told The New York Times that the device allows him to work “without having to carry all my pens and brushes and notepads with me.” And with results like the image above, what’s the difference really?

In this way an artist can also work without parking an easel and canvas along with art supplies in a public space, which allows him to be left alone. For this cover, he spent an hour on 42nd Street, and had no interruptions.

Knee brace generates electricity on the go

Posted in Science by Darrin Olson on February 8th, 2008

Knee brace that generates electricity to power electronic devices on the goSome scientists from the U.S. and Canada have teamed up to create a new knee brace that generates electricity from your steps. The brace takes advantage of the stop energy that occurs after swinging the knee forward which would otherwise dissipate as heat, much like braking on an electric or hybrid car.

According to the initial studies on the 3.5 pound prototype, a person walking at 2.2 mph was able to create around 5 watts of electricity while wearing a brace on each leg. The researchers state that this device can generate enough electricity to power as many as 10 cell phones, or possibly a small laptop. Some practical future applications include using the knee-mounted generator for campers or soldiers who are not near electricity to power up GPS devices or satellite phones.

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LG Launches New Smart Bulb, Connects via Bluetooth or WiFi

Posted in Lighting by Tam Yue on March 24th, 2014

LG Smart BulbLG announced the release of a new Smart Bulb in the coming days in Korea that interacts with you through your iOS or Android device. This new LED light bulb comes with some pretty nifty features which are already leaving us wanting in the US.

This simple but handy features include blinking the light when you have a call on your device, and having a light slowly brighten as a silent alarm from your mobile device. The LG Smart Bulb can also be set to turn on and off for …

USB Bell Dings When You get Mail

Posted in USB by Reuben Drake on July 25th, 2011

The bell has now been merged with your computer via USB. Instead of computer generated dings to tell you when you have new email, this bell will ding to let you know. This would probably get old after a while, but at least you will know when you have mail.

The USB bell uses an electromagnet to activate the bells sound. It’s easy to build, you just need a few parts and then you’ll have to do some soldering.

Microsoft gives the Xbox 360 Slim a hardware update

Posted in Xbox 360 by Conner Flynn on June 13th, 2011

Microsoft is planning another hardware update for the Xbox 360. This new update is all under the hood and won’t affect the look of the machine very much if at all. New Xbox 360 slim consoles will come with a new System on a Chip that will put the CPU, GPU, system memory and I/O logic all on the same piece of silicon.

This should make the console quieter, allow it to have an even smaller power pack and also generate less heat. It will actually be cheaper to manufacture than the old multi-chip system, so Microsoft will make more profit on each console sold.

Google kicks off Music Beta

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 10th, 2011

Google has taken its first steps into cloud media today with Music Beta, which allows users upload up to 20,000 songs that they can then stream from either a web browser or an Android device. Listeners can even “pin” music to a mobile device to have a permanent copy of those songs to play while “offline”. I wonder what Apple thinks about all of this.

There’s also a new playlist feature called Instant Mix, where Music Beta ‘listens’ to the music and uses the sound of the music to automatically generate a playlist. A Music Manager desktop app for Macs and Windows PCs will allow users to automatically grab and upload their iTunes or Windows Media Player collections to the cloud as well.

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The iPad 2′s camera can now see through clothes

Posted in iPad by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011


We knew this day would come eventually and here it is. The iPad 2 can help you see through clothes. Jason Bradbury accomplishes this using a pair of cheap night vision goggles, cling wrap, and an iPad 2′s camera. The man is obviously a genius.

He then takes a photo of himself through his clothes. And it works. Crave gives this as an explanation: “The idea is based on an inadvertent side effect that some camcorders with low-light functions experienced about a decade ago. The cameras worked by emitting infrared light via special LEDs. The camera, when in “night vision” mode, would then record video in infrared instead of visible light. Some cameras, though, generated an “X-ray effect,” allowing the viewer to see through the clothes of the person being videotaped.”

Ventura SPARC MGS Kinectic-powered Watch

Posted in Watches by Conner Flynn on March 14th, 2011

The Ventura SPARC MGS looks nice and futuristic and it uses a micro-generator to power a digital display. Your wrist movements feed an accumulator that provides power to the high-performance microprocessor.

The company claims that throughout an average day the wearer’s movements will turn the oscillating mass about 4,000 times. Through a set of connecting gears, these rotations are used to repeatedly tension a spring. Every time the spring is fully tensioned, it releases that force to a built-in micro-generator which generates electricity for the watch. Pretty cool.

Solar Spark Tablet Case keeps your tablet safe and juiced up

Posted in iPad accessories by Conner Flynn on February 3rd, 2011

There are plenty of tablet cases available for the iPad but how many are lined with solar panels? The Spark Tablet Case by Voltaic can generate up to 8 watts of power to provide about an hour of iPad runtime for every hour in the sunlight. Not bad. It also comes with a solar chargeable battery that contains almost enough juice to give the iPad a single full charge. The battery can be charged using the solar panels on the case, or via a USB port or wall charger.

Other features include a high-power 2A USB port, a regular 650mA USB port to speed up the iPad recharging process, water resistant solar panels, and the case itself is also waterproof. It’s also large enough to fit other accessories with your iPad and the charger can charge other mobile devices.

Samsung 750 and 950 3D LED monitors

Posted in HDTV by Conner Flynn on January 25th, 2011

Samsung’s new 750 series an 950 series will come in both 23 and 27 inch sizes with 1080p resolution, a two-millisecond response time, 1000:1 contrast ratio, D-sub, HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI-DualLink connectivity.

You can also get them with a TV tuner and they will handle 3D for gaming, TV, films, and user-generated content. The hybrid 750s and all the 950s can do 2D-to-3D conversion from PCs, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, and set-top boxes. Sadly we don’t yet have a price, but we do know that the line hits stores in March.

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TRENDnet TEW-690AP 450Mbps Wireless N Access Point

Posted in Routers by Conner Flynn on December 21st, 2010

The TRENDnet TEW-690AP is touted as being the world’s first 450Mbps Wireless N Access Point. The device supports Access Point, Wireless Distribution System (WDS), and Repeater mode functionality and comes equipped with Advanced Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna technology with three spatial streams per antenna, which generates a maximum theoretical wireless throughput of 450Mbps and exceptional wireless coverage.

And if wireless is not for you, a Gigabit Ethernet port will maintain high performance wired connections. The Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) integrates other WPS supported devices with the touch of a button.

Urbee Hybrid is the World’s First 3-D Printed Car

Posted in Automotive by Conner Flynn on November 2nd, 2010

The Urbee was designed for the 2010 X-Prize Competition. But it’s not just an eco-friendly vehicle. It’s the only vehicle that has had it’s entire body designed and generated using 3-D printing technology. The car is a gasoline/ethanol hybrid.

Only problem is, it doesn’t look very roomy. It was designed by Stratasys and Kor Ecologic and can hit 200 mpg on the highway and 100 mpg in city conditions on either fuel.

Xbox 360 fall Dashboard update hits

Posted in Uncategorized by Conner Flynn on November 1st, 2010

Today Microsoft pushed out its fall Xbox 360 Dashboard update, which brings many of the features shown at E3, focusing mostly on Kinect controller support for games, video chat, and gesture and voice commands in the UI itself.

There’s also live and on-demand ESPN3 sports events, Zune Pass music streaming and a more streamlined interface with extra attention to the Marketplaces and a new parental control center. Some other minor improvements bring better voice chat quality, a new virtual keyboard, easier Netflix searching and simplified Wi-Fi network joins.

Lexmark Genesis: An All-in-one Printer that stands upright

Posted in Printers by Conner Flynn on October 17th, 2010

Printers have now learned to stand upright. Maybe soon they will learn to beg for paper as well so they can get an ink treat. This is Lexmark’s first all-in-one printer with an upright design. It’s called the Genesis and it sports a 4.3-inch capacitive color touchscreen display for access to the printer controls and menus.

The Lexmark Genesis also sports a 10-megapixel imaging sensor that enables it to transfer a page from “document to digital” in seconds. It takes just .750 milliseconds after you close its front-facing scan bay, for the CMOS sensor to generate a preview on the 4.3-inch color touchscreen, and 2.2 seconds after that, it’s scanned a full 4800 x 1200 image.



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